AES Sees Limited Growth Opportunities in Europe, CFO Says

AES Corp. sees limited growth opportunities in Europe as the global power producer seeks to narrow its geographic footprint to boost cash flow and earnings.

“The growth we talk about is very much in the United States, Latin America, Central America and Asia,” Chief Financial Officer Thomas O’Flynn said in a phone interview today. “We don’t have as many growth defined plans in Europe.”

AES has exited six countries and raised $1.1 billion from assets sales since the end of 2011, Chief Executive Officer Andres Gluski said during an investor conference call today. The Arlington, Virginia-based company is planning about $500 million in sales this year, including the $109 million divestment of its Ukraine utilities that closed last month, O’Flynn said.

AES sees earnings little changed or declining through 2015 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, where it has about 8,200 megawatts of generation, according to an investor presentation posted today. “Part of it is the economy,” O’Flynn said of the projections for Europe, where the company owns about 4,800 megawatts.

O’Flynn declined to comment on particular power plants or utilities that may be targeted for a sale.

AES reported first-quarter earnings that missed analysts’ estimates. Excluding one-time items, per-share profit was 26 cent, 2 cents less than the average of five estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The shares fell 4.9 percent to $13.22 at the close in New York, the biggest decline since Nov. 9, 2011.

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